News / Middle East

Syria Tops Agenda at UN Rights Council

Newly appointed UN-Arab League Envoy on Syria Kofi Annan waves to the media after shaking hand with France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, before the19th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations, in Geneva, February 27, 2012.
Newly appointed UN-Arab League Envoy on Syria Kofi Annan waves to the media after shaking hand with France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, before the19th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations, in Geneva, February 27, 2012.
Lisa Schlein

The crisis in Syria is topping the agenda at the United Nations Human Rights Council, which began a month-long session Monday in Geneva. The session is expected to produce condemnation of the Syrian government's bombardment on civilians during its crackdown on dissent.

The president of the Human Rights Council, Laura Lasserre Dupuy, kicked off the proceedings by announcing that an urgent session focusing on Syria will take place on Tuesday. She speaks through an interpreter:

“In the light of the escalating grave human rights violations and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, I have had consultations with the extended bureau… on the practical details… in order to have a constructive debate on this topic,” said Dupuy.

Syria's ally Russia tried to get the debate postponed. But the Russian ambassador later said the meeting could go ahead, provided it takes place in a de-politicized manner and without written accounts.

Syria Tops Agenda at UN Rights Council
Syria Tops Agenda at UN Rights Council


Iran objected to the emergency session on Syria. But since Iran is an observer state in the rights council, its objection has no weight.

The president of the U.N. General Assembly said the government siege in Syria must end.

“Before arriving in Geneva, I visited a number of countries for deliberations with heads of state and governments, where the Syrian crisis was the highest concern discussed due to the flagrant violations against civilians. However, strong will and the necessary momentum are available to continue all efforts for saving lives and protecting Syrian civilians from the authorities’… oppression,” said Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser through an interpreter.

The U.S. ambassador to the rights council, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is being increasingly isolated. She said the international community, however, is continuing to struggle over how to further pressure Assad.

“The international community is struggling with this topic and I am not going to tell you we have a silver bullet here. I can say we are looking to the leadership of the Arab League as one vehicle and secondly, we are working very hard to convince the other members of the international community, who are choosing for whatever reason to continue to support the Assad regime that they are making the wrong choice,” she said.

Donahoe also said Russia and China, which vetoed resolutions at the U.N. Security Council aimed at tougher actions on Syria, do not have veto powers at this forum.

 

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid